Pozzi and Amelie Gautreau

Visitors are coming by

continuously, lounging on the fauteuils,

smoking cheroots as if to send

up-towering clouds into the red and gilt

cage that is Pozzi’s lair.

Pozzi stands,  a carmine shrouded potentate,

holds court, his tapered surgeon’s fingers

twist and turn the belt of his robe

in unison with the rise and

fall of murmured conversations.

Amelie shifts briefly, a stilled

Venus de Milo one moment,

her swan neck rising out of her fichu ,

painted pallor a lapidary gleam.

She distracts my eye!

She moves, the next instant, and

alters into a Canova nymph,

russet hair burning against her lavender brow.

Pozzi follows her motions with eyes

captive to her restless posing.

These breathtaking people are coupled.

Gossip follows their every action.

Their glamour seeps into me,

holds my thoughts in their snare.

They are my Venus and Adonis.

GM 02/02/2005

(This written in response to reading about J.S. Sargent’s painting of Dr. Pozzi, and finding out that it was while painting Pozzi that Sargent made first aquaintance with Amelie Gautreau.  Apparently while modelling for Sargent, Pozzi also entertained visitors, so that must have been a difficult circumstance under which Sargent had to work!)

7 Responses to “Pozzi and Amelie Gautreau”

  1. Deborah Barlow Says:

    Keep pulling us into Sargent’s world–I long for more poems, more anecdotes. Then come visit Massachusetts and feast on our supply of his paintings!

  2. Deborah Barlow Says:

    PS Do you prefer that comments be made on your blog using trackback?

  3. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Please share the comments, Stepford wife.
    Thank you for another marvelous poem.
    As Deborah says, you suck us in, in a most delicious way to the artistic upper crust and the mondain world of Sargent. He is a fabulous painter. Reading his story through the tale of Madame X opened up a world that most painters would drool to be part of.
    The world is not much different today, just different trappings.
    You’ve captured the nonchalance, the indifference. the elegance and the egotism that I imagine in the the character of Pozzi.
    How he must have had women falling before his feet like flies!

  4. mjau Says:

    Your poems leave me smiling foolishly. I’m totally un-sarcastically amused.

  5. Francesca Says:

    Loved the poem but Sargent went through hoops to meet Amelie. Sam Pozzi was a newlywed in 1881 when his portrait was painted and did not meet her until a tea his wife hosted in 1884 right before the Salon. Sam was a fabulous guy, not the cold hearted rake he has been pictured as. Poor Amelie was shy, semi-illiterate and depressive. By the way, Sam and Amelie were not lovers.

  6. Francesca Says:

    Keep writing about Sargent – He was a great guy.

  7. suburbanlife Says:

    Francesca – i take it that Pozzi and Gautreau were not lovers – that is not how i have paired them necessarily in my poem, though i can see why you might assume i meant that “Pozzi follows her motions with his eyes” … paired as Venus and Adonis… The poem is written from the artist’s point of view. Who am i to know what he was actually thinking – this is pure conjecture and fiction on my part, not factual reportage – a lie of sorts. G

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